CHICAGO (CBS) — We have a better idea tonight who will replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
Robin Kelly easily won the Democratic Primary for the 2nd Congressional district, with former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson finishing second and Chicago Aldermen Anthony Beale third.
The field was top heavy out of the gate. Then the stars seemed to align for Kelly, aided by millions in ad cash from New York Mayor Bloomberg’s PAC, slamming the woman who ended up second.
After Jackson’s corruption, Kelly sold her experience, her ties to the president and she wore her “F” rating from the national rifle association with pride. She’s anti-gun, vowing to fight for a comprehensive assault weapon ban that resonated with the South Side and southern Cook County portion of her 2nd district.
“You sent a message that was heard around our state and across the nation — a message that tells the NRA that their days of holding our country hostage are coming to an end,” Kelly told supporters Tuesday night. “Their days of scaring Congress into submission on gun control are coming to a close.”
She’s taking over a tainted seat, as its two previous holders are now convicts.
What’s her plan to ensure District Two doesn’t become a self-serving enterprise? “Not break the law, one of her aides told CBS 2’s Brad Edwards.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who formed a Super PAC to help fund Robin Kelly’s campaign released this statement tonight: “This is an important victory for common sense leadership on gun violence…it’s the latest sign that voters across the country are demanding change from their representatives in Washington.”
But Debbie Halvorson blamed her loss on Bloomberg’s TV ads that labeled her pro-gun
“We all know how tough it was for me to have to run an election against someone who spent $2.3 million against me,” said Halvorson.
But Halvorson said she’s joining all Democrats in rallying behind Robin Kelly.
For the Republicans, Paul McKinley leads followed by Erick Wallace then Lenny McAllister in a close race.
Paul McKinley 955 votes 27.1%
Eric M. Wallace 932 votes 26.4%
Lenny McAllister 859 votes 24.3%
The winner will face Kelly in a special election April 9.
Click here for more election results.